This video can be downloaded here and can be included in your online services.
Gifts come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Sometimes we refer to a newborn baby as a wondrous gift from God. Sometimes we talk about a musician being gifted, meaning not only that they are very skilled at playing their musical instrument but that their music comes as a gift to us touching something deep inside of us.
Sometimes we might even talk about the gift of our time; when we spend time with somebody else who is in particular need. We don't necessarily have anything to say or to do in particular but simply being with them is a gift to that person.
We do that even in these strange times when we pick up the phone to talk to somebody or Zoom them.
Christians also think about prayer as a gift. Not only a gift between ourselves, so when I say I'm praying for you it means that I'm remembering you before God, but also a wondrous gift from God to me that God chooses to spend time with me even as I pray.
When I was growing up we had a an aunt who used to come and visit us fairly regularly.
I say now, rather to my shame, that my sister and brother and I used to laugh to among ourselves when she came because she could talk endlessly. From morning until night it was just a non-stop flow of words and stories we used to find it all rather amusing. It wasn't until she died that my mother told me that this particular aunt had prayed for me every single day of my life.
I remember not knowing what to say when she told that to me, what an amazing thought that somebody had prayed for me every single day. Yes prayer can be an amazing gift and that's why St Paul writes to the Philippians. "I thank my God every time I remember you constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you because of your sharing in the Gospel from the first day until now."
And so now I make the same prayer that Paul prayed for the church in Philippi, for you even as you watch this.
And this is my prayer says Paul "that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insights to help you determine what is best so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God."